Mostly used as a bronchodilator that widens the air passages in your lungs
has many other uses because of the fact that it attaches to the beta-adrenergic receptors on any muscle cells and makes them relax. First approved by the FDA in 1974, terbutaline has become quite an effective medicine to combat the symptoms of asthma
and other bronchial maladies.
As a bronchodilator, it relaxes the muscle cells lining the air passages, thus increasing their diameter so that more air can enter and exit the lungs during breathing. As a muscle relaxant, it relaxes some other types of smooth muscles
, like those found in the uterus
. Be warned though that some types of muscles may contract instead of relax when using this drug.
In oral form, this medication is usually given at an interval of six to eight hours. The tablets may also be crushed and mixed with fluids or food for people who struggle with swallowing
. For inhaler-type drugs, terbutaline may be taken every four to eight hours. For patients with asthma attacks brought about by physical exertion like exercise, the drug may be inhaled as two puffs taken at least ten to fifteen minutes prior to exercise. To avoid infection and for sanitary purposes as well, only one person is allowed to use the inhaler.
The following steps should be followed when using an inhaler. First, you should shake your inhaler. Second, exhale completely. Third, slightly tilt your head up. Fourth, place your lips
on the inhaler, and then squeeze down the release. Fifth, begin to breathe in the vapors fully. Sixth, hold your breath the best you can, preferably for ten seconds. Finally, repeat as prescribed by your doctor after one or two minutes.
You have to do the following things before taking terbutaline. First, tell your doctor if you are allergic to this medication or any other drugs.
Second, also inform your doctor and pharmacist what are the other medications you're currently taking, most especially if they're phenelzine, propranolol
, sotalol, phenelzine, atenolol
, carteolol, metropolol, theophylline
, timolol, and other drugs for heart
, or asthma.
Third, you must also notify your pharmacist and doctor about the nonprescription drugs and vitamins that you are taking as well, including phenylpropanolamine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylephrine. Many medications for colds and asthma or weight-loss pills contain certain ingredients that can react negatively to terbutaline.
Remember that treating premature labor with terbutaline is not approved by the FDA and is, as such, an off-label use of the drug. It is a medication that is rated pregnancy category B, and is customarily used to halt contractions. On that note, tell your doctor if you're expecting a child, plan to have a child, or are breastfeeding. If you get pregnant while under terbutaline treatment, consult your doctor immediately.
Finally, inform your physician if you have or have had increased heart rate, high blood pressure
, an overactive thyroid gland
, heart disease, irregular heartbeat
, or seizures. Also, if you're having surgery, even dental surgery, consult your doctor or dentist before taking terbutaline or undergoing surgery.
This drug's side effects include palpitations, elevated blood
pressure, nervousness, dizziness
, fast heart rate, tremor, nausea
, chest pain
, taste alteration, dry mouth
, and heartburn
bleeds and throat irritation can also happen with the inhalant form of the drug.
Terbutaline has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of terbutaline is C12H19NO3
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 5-(1-hydroxy-2-tert-butylamino-ethyl)benzene-1,3-diol
• Molecular weight is 225.284 g/mol
• Terbutaline available : 2.5mg tablets